The pandemic effect: Salary tops employee priority list as UK workers focus on self-preservation

14 January 2021

As businesses attempt to stay afloat amid the fluctuating circumstances in the UK, research finds that UK employees are increasingly placing salary packages as the most important factor when it comes to career management. The research by HR and Payroll Specialist, SD Worx, examined what employees in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom consider important in the context of their work.
  • A third of the UK workforce feels empowered to ask for a pay rise
  • Upskilling and job security are the seen as the second and third most important priorities in the current climate
  • Company culture becomes one of the least most regarded factors when it comes to UK employment

On the topic of wages, findings show that 28.2% of UK employees feel as though they are able to comfortably negotiate or ask for a pay rise. One of the main driving forces happens to be knowing how salaries can be optimised to maximise employee take-home pay, according to 38.4% of UK workers. Similarly, transparency with employee rewards is also a key motivator in the UK, with nearly half (45.1%) highlighting the ability to know everything their employer offers as part of the overall remuneration package (salary, benefits, leave, etc.) as being very important. 

Broadening skills to improve employment prospects

Whilst employee wages hit the top spot on the list of employment priorities, it seems as though workers also have a strong focus on what the job will require (2nd place) and job security (3rd place). With furlough having been extended in the country, many employees are considering expanding their skills in order to adapt to wider roles and increase the chances of maintaining a job in the current climate. 

It also seems as though employees have further turned their focus inward, with the research finding that ‘company culture’ (11th place) and ‘vision and policy’ (12th place) fall as the least most regarded factors when it comes to employment. Despite businesses encouraging employees to band together over the course of the pandemic, questions arise as to how much social distancing has impacted the social and cultural element of the workforce. 

“Since March last year, businesses globally have tried to understand how the pandemic has impacted the workforce and what implications would come out of it. And it hasn’t always been clear. But this research highlights just how employee motivations are evolving in this era, with UK employees looking at ways to better themselves and solidify their future in unprecedented times,” says Cathy Geerts, Chief HR Officer at SD Worx.

“With insights like this and the right HR processes and adaptive technology in place , businesses will be able to understand what measures need to implemented, with an aim of improving the employee experience, job security and retention. After all, it is the workforce that ensure the continuity of any business. So making sure the expectations and needs of employees are met should always be front of mind,” Cathy concludes. 

 

More information:

SD Worx

Pieter Goetgebuer

T +32 (0)3 201 76 68 / M +32 (0)497 45 36 73

Pieter.goetgebuer@sdworx.com